Cuba's "Ladies in White" Will Take to Streets Even After Relatives Freed

There's no stopping them.

A Cuban dissident group formed to demand freedom for imprisoned relatives is vowing to continue its weekly protests despite the liberation of the last of their family members.

Ladies in White founder Laura Pollan says the group will continue its activities to demand freedom for all prisoners of conscience and for human rights.

The group began weekly Sunday marches near Havana's cathedral after the government arrested 75 dissidents in 2003 and accused them of working with the U.S. government to undermine Cuba's socialist system. Most of the protesters were wives or relatives of the 75.

On the eighth anniversary of Cuba's controversial crackdown on dissidents, Cubans on the island marked the day in starkly opposing ways.

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The last of the dissidents  from the 2003 crackdown -- Félix Navarro and José Daniel Ferrer --were released this week under a deal with the Catholic Church. Sunday's march was the first since then.

Most political prisoners have accepted the government's offer to go into exile in Spain. But about a dozen prisoners from the 2003 sweep have refused to go - saying that they will not agree to be deported from their homeland -- and have been allowed to return to their homes in Cuba.

The government considers the dissidents to be common criminals.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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